How to Choose the Best Order Picker for Your Warehouse
May 3, 2023
Finding the best warehouse order pickers depends on your facility layout, application and important considerable factors. Different models can reach various heights and offer unique capabilities, so considering your company’s needs and storage organization can help you choose the best option for your facility.
Keep important factors in mind so you can choose the best option when you browse order pickers for sale. Whether you need warehouse order pickers in Quebec or the surrounding areas, YIT can help you find the best machine to meet your needs.
The Importance of Order Pickers
Order pickers are important because they fit in tight spaces and increase warehouse efficiency. You can use various types of order-picking equipment to move inventory, but order pickers serve a specific purpose. Manufacturers specially design order pickers to move a few pieces or units at a time rather than full pallets.
Order pickers are important because warehouse workers can manoeuvre them through narrow aisles. They are small enough to fit in tight spaces, and many models can reach as high as 360 inches or 30 feet. Order pickers are useful in all warehouse settings but especially important in smaller, on-demand warehouses.
Operators ride on order pickers and use the machines to reach tall storage shelves. After rising safely, workers can pick products and place them on the order picker’s carry deck before transporting them. An order picker’s design and function allow workers to collect and deliver individual or small groups of items quickly, increasing efficiency.
Types of Order Pickers
Different order picker models have unique features and can reach various heights. Before choosing a machine, consider the following types of order pickers:
Standard order pickers are the most common type of order picker, and they are excellent for reaching medium and high shelves. Lift heights vary, but most standard order pickers can reach 300 to 360 inches.
A standard order picker can also transport a large quantity of items, allowing workers to move many products simultaneously. You can pair standard order pickers with rail-guided layouts and wire guidance systems to increase speed and safety.
Low-level order pickers can pick items from the floor level and reach up to 180 inches. This type of picker moves quickly and allows operators to pick items within seconds. Low-level order pickers are excellent for companies that store bulk items on higher warehouse shelves and pick products from lower shelves.
High-level order pickers are ideal if you maximize vertical warehouse space. A high-level order picker can typically reach up to 550 inches, allowing you to optimize your storage space and easily retrieve items from the highest shelf heights.
Standard, low-level and high-level counterbalance order pickers have a specific weight design. The back of a counterbalance order picker truck is the heaviest part of the machine, which balances the load the front of the machine lifts. A counterbalanced design prevents order pickers from tipping over.
A straddle load model is the most compact type of order picker. Operators stand behind it rather than riding on it, eliminating the need for an operator compartment. This compact design allows straddle load order pickers to fit in significantly small spaces, making them ideal for warehouses with narrow aisles.
How to Choose the Best Order Picker for Your Warehouse
Consider the following factors to choose the best order picker for your warehouse:
1. Warehouse Layout
The three main types of order pickers listed above are ideal for different layouts. Before choosing an order picker, examine your warehouse shelves and evaluate where you store the majority of the products you need to pick and move frequently.
You can choose a low-level picker if most of your items are at the floor level or on low shelves, or you can choose a high-level picker if you use significant vertical shelf space. Standard order pickers are typically the best option if you store items at various heights, but straddle load order pickers are ideal if your warehouse has narrow spaces.
Comfort is another considerable factor when choosing an order picker. Different models offer various features to facilitate comfortable operation. Operators can complete tasks comfortably when they have a spacious compartment with the following features:
- Cushioned floor
- Padded floor mat
- Low step height
- Unobstructed visibility
- Multi-function control handle
- Adjustable control handle workers can rotate to achieve the most comfortable stance
- Retractable side gates
3. Stability and Control
You should choose an order picker that offers excellent stability and control. Stepless speed control, smooth speed adjustment and height-sensing capabilities increase stability and productivity. Order pickers with Smart-Glide™ technology offer the greatest stability, allowing operators to pick and transport items safely.
Choosing an efficient order picker is also essential. You can increase productivity by choosing an order picker built with state-of-the-art technology. The most efficient order pickers have the following features:
- Wire guidance
- Efficient pallet clamps
- Foot-operated pedal
- Multi-turn steering
Wire guidance systems keep order pickers on the right path so operators can focus on order picking while the machine handles steering. Efficient pallet clamps center and grip pallets automatically. Foot-operated pedals enable operators to release pallets quickly, and multi-turn steering increases an order picker’s error detection for greater control.
You should also consider your application before choosing an order picker. Some items require special equipment due to their size or shape. A furniture selector is an order picker that can handle furniture and other large, bulky, delicate or odd-shaped loads. Consider investing in a furniture selector if the majority of your products are oversized or require special lifting.
Order Picking Best Practices
Always follow warehouse safety rules and manufacturer guidelines when operating an order picker to keep yourself and other workers safe. You should also avoid standing on an order picker’s forks or using them as a platform to prevent potential injury and damage.
Find High-Quality Order Pickers From YIT
Choosing the right order pickers can significantly increase your company’s efficiency, productivity and safety. Consider your warehouse layout, load weights and item sizes to determine which type of order picker best suits your needs. A straddle load model is ideal if your warehouse contains narrow paths and tight spaces, but a furniture selector is the best option for bulky or oddly-shaped loads. Standard and heavy-duty counterbalance order picker models are also excellent options.
Whether you are looking for warehouse order pickers in Ontario or nearby locations, YIT can help you find the best machine for your warehouse. YIT has been providing high-quality material-handling equipment since 1972, and we are dedicated to helping companies improve their operations with the latest lift truck technology.